CASE

THE EXPERIENCE BECOMES THE BRAND – MINI

A BRAND IS A PROMISE. THE PRODUCT IS THE PROOF.

A brand makes a promise. And it is the vehicle that has to prove it right. On the one hand, of course, through the driving experience. For us, however, the HMI is the interface at which this promise is kept. So it is all the more astonishing how many vehicle manufacturers neglect this window to the user: They clumsily copy competitors, regardless of whether the brands are compatible or not. Or they leave it up to third-party applications such as Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

Here we tell the story of a brand that has always gone its own way and always found its own language: MINI. This brand stands for an attitude to life – that it promises its fans and that it consistently lives up to, trough an unmistakable experience.

HOW DO YOU BRAND EXPERIENCE

MINI is perhaps the best example of a brand that has been investing in brand-specific design and experience for years. The question that has been driving us in our collaboration for more than ten years is: What does the brand look like in the product? And how does it feel?

We are always interested in the special MINI character; in closely interweaving brand and product.

This was already visible in the first generation ID3 in 2008: from the very beginning, the visual character was strongly differentiated from that of BMW. Instead, it sought to stand shoulder to shoulder with the MINI brand as it was positioned in communication: with a rich black background and fresh, strong colours with vector-style graphics.

FROM VECTOR TO ECOSYSTEM

In 2010, the ID4 generation took the step into a consistent design language in the interface: the menu became as round as the speedometer, and three-dimensional. At the same time, the vector graphics were virtually “energized”. Thus, the design language from the predecessor system was adopted and consistently further developed.

FROM GAMIFICATION TO REAL RELATIONSHIP

With “MINI Music”, we created for the first time an immersive service that linked everything: brand, lifestyle and driving experience. The music was selected dynamically according to the driving situation and style, always rhythmically matched to the flasher’s beat and following the vehicle’s movements in its acoustic balance.

With ID5, the system was further perfected in 2014, the screen became larger. The exploration of the three-dimensional space in the HMI became more sovereign; what had previously been a rather technological step was now filled with meaning and relationship.

And in other respects, too, we continued to explore the playful interpretation of the driving experience in order to find a brand-specific language. We created the display Avatar for “MINI Efficiency” in the form of a fishbowl in the display that gave direct feedback on the driver’s sustainable driving style while driving; this experience was enriched by an app that rewarded efficient driving.

The current MINI HMI generation is also uniquely designed and yet continues the legacy. With a more reduced graphic language, the system looks as fresh as ever. This is also due to the many small details, such as the lovingly designed vehicle graphics where you notice that MINI does not take itself quite so seriously. We think this is a great and modern – because honest – character trait.